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LETTER TO THE EDITOR | Take note, 100 Deadly Days of Summer is here
Memorial Day Weekend to the end of Labor Day Weekend: a 100-day period that embraces vacation time, travel time, and nice weather. Seen from another angle, lots of folks are driving, some of the drivers are impaired.
In 2012, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, during those 100 Deadly Days of Summer 33,561 people died in motor vehicle traffic crashes in the United States and 2.36 million were injured.
Of those fatalities, 10,322 or nearly one third lost their lives in alcohol or other drug impaired driving crashes. Those other drugs included prescription, over-the-counter, illegal drugs, chemicals and combinations of these types.
So if we dig a little deeper, let’s say that 10 people per DUI fatality are affected. Affected how? Relatives and friends upset, scared, anxious, worried, angry and lots of other emotions. At a conservative estimate, 103,220 people were affected by these 10,322 DUI deaths that happened in 2012 across the USA.
In Washington, police arrest more than 40,000 people for DUI each year. We had 157 such fatalities in 2011, and 145 in 2012. Using our 10-person extrapolation, 14,500 people were affected by these DUI-related deaths in Washington State. A death in the family that could have been prevented.
Lesser costs of DUI can include legal fees and fines, skyrocketing insurance costs, job-related expenses and likely the loss of your license. Your family and everyone who knows you will be affected. But more importantly, especially if you harm someone else, you will feel the shame, hurt, and despair that comes with knowing you could have prevented these results – by driving in a clear, alert condition.
Do not add to the statistics for 2014. Do not put yourself through the hell of knowing you endangered your life and the lives of others needlessly. Do not initiate a ripple effect that will inject more suffering, pain, and anguish into a multitude of lives.
This year IDIPIC hopes to once again raise awareness and funds during this dangerous season with KISS – Keep It a Safe Summer.
We are all in this together, and your support, in any form, can help prevent these needless tragedies. Thank you.
Mike Diamanti, Vice-President, IDIPIC